The police raid at Stabroek Market


Dear Editor,
A FEW weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to observe the parameters of the Stabroek Market area being searched by ranks of the Guyana Police Force, during what was clearly an impromptu raid for drugs and illegal items, which resulted in 13 persons being arrested.

There were sniffer dogs which were dispatched to the area with dozens of ranks equipped with high-profile equipment who were stationed mainly at the entrances of the market.
This seems to have led to an “epiphany” on the part of the Georgetown City Constabulary who have suddenly sprung up with a new and intuitive grasp of reality since that raid with the department with them now conducting random stop and search within the area which has resulted in the discovery of cannabis under the canopy area

My question to the City Constabulary is why only now they are having these illuminating discoveries and realizations when ‘Everybody and their Grandmother’ knew of the illegal activities that occurred for decades ‘under the clock’ at the Stabroek Market, but did nothing about it?

Whatever happened to the grand plans they had to have CCTV installed in and around the municipal markets to monitor the daily activities there? What has happened to their ‘Bicycle Patrols’ that could have operated in and around the busy markets as is done in other countries?

A claim by the Constabulary is that illicit drugs are transported to and in in the marketplace in significant quantities which, however, go unnoticed. How could this be? Couldn’t those constables, who constantly harass vendors for minor infractions, not use their time and energy to stop the wanton transport of these illicit items. A more ridiculous claim by the Constabulary is that “legitimate vendors” play a vital role in the continuance of the criminal activities with narcotics even being found in stalls, which suggests that stallholders or persons operating stalls are partakers of the illegal trade activities. My question is are these stallholders or operators of the stalls not charged and hauled before the courts when these discoveries are made? Are the stalls not seized and re-allocated to law-abiding citizens who wish to carry out legitimate business?

If they claim that these errant market vendors communicate via WhatsApp and other means of technology so that by the time the constabulary ranks get on the ground, they already have the illicit items stashed, then I would like to know who they communicate with? Is it other members of the constabulary? How else would the vendors know that they are coming to carry out a raid?

I would like the constabulary to understand that little crimes breed big crimes, and when they smile at little crimes, before they know it, big crimes blow their heads off.
Anu Bihari